THE sudden death of a highly-respected former Pendle Council chief - planning and development specialist Mr Richard Kirby - has left people shocked.
Mr Kirby, who was 73, was on a bike ride in the Brecon Beacons last week when he collapsed and died.
He had served with the council for 25 years and played a key role in planning issues including creating new developments like Lomeshaye Industrial Estate in Nelson. In fact he had a key road named after him on the estate. It is Kirby Road.
In 1973 he was appointed planning and development officer for Pendle Council.
In 1988, he became economic development and corporate planning officer and in 1992 was made director (development services).
He also served as a magistrate from 1988.
Mr Stephen Barnes, chief executive of Pendle Council, worked with him for many years and said: “Richard, as well as being a top local authority professional, was a real gentleman and a pleasure to work with. Many people in Pendle will be shocked and saddened by his untimely death. He made a tremendous contribution to the development of the borough.”
And Coun. Tony Greaves from Pendle Council also made it clear Mr Kirby had played a key role in the borough.
There will be a full obituary in this week’s Leader Times Newspapers.